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That's What's the Matter with Me

Song: That's What's the Matter with Me
Lyrics: (Gene) Jean Malin(2)

Music: Malin
Year: 1931(1)
Genre: camp
Country: USA

When people look at me and say,
"Why does that fellow act that way?"

It's influence pre-natal,
That's slowly brewing fatal.

My father hoped I'd be a boy,
"A girl," my mother cried,
And you can see when they got me,
They both ^ that aside.

As far as I'm concerned this thing is breaking up my life;
I don't know whether I should take a husband or a wife?

If I merely had just masculine desires,
Or if I only had the yearnings of a femme.
In me you must admit the mannish sex is well defined.
But when I see a football game, God I nearly lose my mind.
This song was originally posted on
When I get mad just like a man I'll battle,
When I take my kimono off they see,
I think I know the reasons things are not exactly right,
My mother tried to get to Jersey on that fatal night.

Though it t'was on a ferry boat that I first saw the light,
And that's what's the matter with me.

Now if I only was a boy my father ^ me,
Or if I was only a girl my mother craved,
When I look into a mirror a big strong man I find,
But when I see a battleship I can't make up my mind.

I don't know whether I'm mister, miss or missus, I'm on the spot as you can plainly see,
Before my birth my mother had just flowers on her mind,
The doctor who attended her was just so good and kind,
And when he arrived he brought the biggest pansy he could find,
And that's what's the matter with me, that's all.


1 - Recorded on Columbia Records 2812-D, recorded, June 30, 1931.

2 - Jean Malin, biography at IMDb

3 - ^ is a missing syllable. If you know what the missing parts are, please email us and let us know. Thank you